Chief Executive Officer
Irene has worked previously as a consumer/peer worker in public health and was instrumental in developing the peer workforce program at South Eastern Sydney Local Health District where she took on the role as District Manager Peer Workforce Program. Irene was also instrumental in setting up the South Eastern Sydney Recovery College where she held the position of Education Coordinator. After leaving these two roles, Irene went on to set up her own peer-led organisation as a way of developing the peer workforce across NSW. She has worked as a passionate advocate at local, state and National levels on a number of committees and Boards and has been a past Chairperson with Being.
Policy and Communications Manager
After completing a Phd at Macquarie University, Peter Schmiedgen worked for the NSW Ministry of Health in the areas of carers, disability and palliative care policy. He is now the policy and communications manager at Being and has oversight of submissions, advocacy and communications. He is assisted in this role by a policy officer and a communications officer.
From her childhood, Ashley has been inspired by the power of advocacy in providing social justice outcomes.
As a 2019 United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Peace Ambassador, Ashley is passionate about ensuring individuals human rights are upheld.
With current studies in Law and Criminology, and previously working for a Member of Federal Parliament, Ashley believes that her experience with mental health issues has given her the strength and determination to provide quality representation to those who may feel overlooked by current systems.
Alisha has several years of experience working in the not-for-profit sector, most notably in providing books to disadvantaged children living across Australia. This role provided her with the opportunity to work with many remote and Indigenous communities and learn about their specific and often diverse needs. Alisha has also presented at three international conferences focussing on community engagement in the not-for-profit and university sector, and this knowledge and expertise will be of great benefit when engaging communities of people living with mental health issues.
Alisha believes that both her own lived experience, and people with lived/living experience of mental health issues should be at the heart of her work, and inform every step of the projects that she works on.
Executive Support Officer
With a Nursing and Diversional Therapy background, Tina brings an extensive basis of experience previously working as an Executive Support Officer in research and ethics, a Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator, and was part of the organisation and delivery of educational and training seminars for GP’s, and the prestigious Research TOW Awards.
Through her work in Visual Arts and as a Music Teacher, Tina is able to combine over 35 years of experience working within a multitude of areas associated with the mental health sector with her passion for the creative arts.
Tina believes that working at Being is a great opportunity to combine, integrate, and draw upon her varied experiences and lived experience of mental health issues. Through her creative and innovative processes, she endeavours to open avenues of communication, and be a voice for those unable at any given time. Tina works towards greater positive change and directions in the area of lived experience of Mental Health issues, in an aim to live in a more accepting inclusive community.
Student Placement (UNSW)
Currently, in her fourth year studying a double degree of Social Work and Criminology at the University of New South Wales, Julia has always been passionate about empowering and providing support to those who have lived experience of mental health issues.
With a specific interest in young people in the Criminal Justice System & Aboriginal Affairs, Julia hopes to pursue a career in policy, mental health research and continuing her studies in counselling and therapy. Having her University placement at Being has further inspired Julia to embrace her lived experiences of mental health issues and use them as skills to assist the Being team!
Cindy El Sayed
Student Placement (UNSW)
Cindy is passionate about activism and advocacy and is currently completing her social work and international relations degree at UNSW.
Her particular interests lie in the ability of grassroots community groups to grow and make an impact, LGBTQIA+ rights and dismantling structural racism.
She believes that looking at mental health needs to be holistic, and there are so many factors that influence our wellbeing. Mental health is dependent on context, and we need better equity in society to improve health outcomes overall. Equity comes from holding our decision-makers accountable to their community and asking for what we want.
Being is a great place to do her student placement as she can begin to explore the world of policy and advocacy, using lived experience of mental health as an asset to do work that is valuable and impactful.